Here’s what to expect in the new bill format that’s launching in September.
Here’s a tip you would want to know: understanding your Meralco bill can help you manage your energy consumption better, and actually help you save money.
Based on market research, a lot of the details are often overlooked because people may find the bill a little hard to read. So, as part of Meralco’s customer-centricity efforts, the company decided to fix that problem.
“Meralco conducted research and banked on consumer feedback to provide a bill format that we hope provides complete information that encourages energy efficiency,” says Ferdinand O. Geluz, First Vice President – Customer Retail Services and Chief Commercial Officer of Meralco.
In the Meralco Business Center (BC) Foot Traffic study, about 50% who transact with Meralco are household heads, with children, aged 45 and above. Presbyopia, the gradual loss of your eye’s ability to see things clearly up close, sets in at age of 40. That meant that around 50% of bill readers needed their reading glasses to see the smaller font on the current format.
Additional insights from real customers and eye-tracking studies led to several changes in the bill format. Every adjustment made was aimed at enhancing readability and keeping customers better informed and smarter with their power usage.
Easier on the eyes
The first thing customers will notice is the sky-blue box on the upper right-hand corner of the bill. The section prominently features the total amount due, due date, and your 10-digit Customer Account Number (CAN) for easier reference when paying your bill.
To improve readability, the page was upsized to 8” x 11”, an increase of three inches, allowing for bigger font for hassle-free reading
“Mas clear yung mga info katulad ng amount kasi malaki at colored; mas malaki yung pagka print ng records, mas klaro at detailed,” as mentioned by a residential customer in a recent consumer study. (Info like the amount are clearer because it’s bigger and it’s colored; the printing of the records is bigger, clearer and more detailed.)
What new features can residential customers expect?
The new Meralco bill format now includes the Rate this Month or the effective peso per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for your monthly consumption. This is computed by dividing Your Total Energy Amount, found at the back page of the bill, by your actual consumption. This may also change every month depending on prevailing rates and how much you consume.
Meralco has also expanded ‘Your monthly consumption’ table to cover up to 24 months instead of the previous 13. Not only will you be able to see the trend of your power usage throughout the year, but you’ll also be able to compare consumption this month with last month versus last year.
It’s best to compare the same month this year with the same month last year as the temperature can affect consumption. For example, it is good to compare a June 2021 bill with a June 2020, versus May 2021 because June tends to be cooler versus May.
For your residential bills, you’ll now be able to see your average consumption per month, per day, and how this all amounts to pesos so that you have more control over your consumption and spending.
Moving to the back of your bill you will notice more conversational headings, “What you’ve paid” and “What remains unpaid” over a more detailed breakdown of your charges and payments. You can now verify your last six payment transactions, complete with the amount, date of payment, and even the payment location.
“Ang pinkamaganda sa likod, nakarecord na yung history of payments mo sa likod so pwede ka na mag-compare,” as mentioned by a residential customer in a recent consumer study. (The best part is the one at the back, your history of payments is recorded so you can compare.)
Meralco found out that some customers rummage through their pile of bills to check what they have paid. This makes it easier for most of us.
To know more about the new Meralco bill for residential customers, you can watch this video.
There’s also something new for businesses
For businesses, Meralco has made the same improvements and packed it with more information to help businesses be more efficient. For instance, the ‘Your electric bill’ section explicitly states your billed demand and actual consumption. Giving more meaning to these, you will find at the back of the bill how your consumption and demand contribute to your total bill via a graph.
‘Your electric bill’ portion also includes your monthly kWh rate and load factor making it easier to track. And if your business is qualified to shift to the contestable market, you can leverage on your load factor when negotiating with Retail Electricity Suppliers for competitive rates and use your bill as a proof of your contestability.
In the ‘Your consumption explained’ section, there is a month-to-month comparison of your consumption as well as your actual demand against minimum billing demand. Your power factor is also indicated which tells you if you are optimizing your electrical facilities by keeping this number above 85.
Going green with the new bill
Sustainability was championed by Meralco when President and CEO Atty. Ray C. Espinosa took over in 2019. Since then, Meralco has embedded sustainability as foundational to the business, and this was an inspiration in designing the new bill format.
You will also find an infobox that highlights the environmental impact of your power usage. It’ll show the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions, which will hopefully inspire more responsible energy use and serve as a reminder to show Mother Earth some love.
Service with a passion
All these improvements come as a result of a shift in priorities at Meralco, Geluz explains.
“In the last few months, our motto has been ‘service with compassion.’ With accumulated bills during ECQ and many being out of work, our kababayans were hard pressed to keep their accounts updated,” he says.
“We thus allowed installment plans at a magnitude unprecedented in Meralco’s history, balancing this with our duty to keep the energy industry solvent as the collecting agent for transmission and generation companies which also have their fiduciary responsibilities.
Moving forward, and as signaled with all the effort behind this new bill, we will continue pursuing our passion of transforming customer experience in all our transactions and touchpoints.“
The new and improved Meralco bill, it’s clearer and gives more power to customers, by giving them a better understanding of their bill so they can better manage their consumption.
“Masaya ka nang nagbabayad,” as mentioned by a residential customer in a recent consumer study. (You can now pay with joy.)
Coming this September.
Karina is not your ordinary supermom. She juggles her time bonding with her three amazing kids while being in the loop on the latest happenings in the tech and lifestyle scene. Follow me on Instagram (@digitalfilipina) regularly visit www.digitalfilipina.com for daily dose of updates not just for moms but for everyone!